Ford is a household name in the American car market, the gold standard for trucks and family vehicles. But even a giant like Ford isn’t immune to producing the occasional lemon. Take the Ford Pinto, which gas tank fires claimed the lives of 500.
This unfortunate series of events forced Ford to recall thousands of their Pinto classics. Yet just because your vehicle did not cause the death of its users does not mean it’s a good idea to buy it. All Ford models have had specific years that you would do your best to avoid.
For this article, we will discuss Ford Escape years that you should steer clear of–no pun intended.
The Worst of All Ford Escape Years: the Ford Escape 2005
That’s right folks, Ford has had huge recalls even in the past 20 years. Unfortunately, the Pinto was not the last of their worries. The 2005 Ford Escape is so notorious that Ford dealers get a shutter down their spine at its mention. This vehicle has single-handedly gotten the worst reviews of any other Ford vehicle.
Here are just a few of the issues that you can expect if you make the mistake of buying the Escape 2005:
- Broken check engine light, or engine light stuttering
- Misfires with the ignition
- Extensive internal electrical problems
- Extensive issues with the engine
Just search for Escape 2005 on the Internet, and you are bound to find plenty of complaints. The issues all seem to be random, with only a select few lucky consumers having no issues at all.
What’s worse, the issues do not seem to resolve themselves after a fix. They appear again, often multiple times after taking them to the mechanic. Do not assume that you can fix the 2005 Escape. Another thing to note is that the Escape tends to have this problem in warmer weather. If you do have 2005, then you may notice more issues as spring and summer roll around.
Consider new Ford cars for sale before you buy this particular addition to the Escape lineup.
The Ford Escape 2006
You’d think after the disaster that was 2005, Ford would learn its lesson. But no, 2006 was also a particularly bad year for the Escape. The automobile manufacturing giant had to issue a recall for this one due to a wide variety of faults just like the last. If you have 2006 or are considering getting it, just know that it has the following issues:
- Problems with the internal wheel bearings
- The trouble with the power steering, in particular with the pump and hoses
- Trouble in the electronic suspension system
- Issues with your antilock brake system
- Deviations in exterior and interior trim
- Faulty or fading roof molding
As best the evidence can show, the numerous recalls for 2006 did not fix the problems. This model is a landmine of issues, and you should stay far away from it even if you see it on sale. The issues with 2005 had more to do with starting the vehicle. But in 2006, several of these issues could put your life at risk.
Again, it’s not worth it trying to fix it just to save some money. Avoid 2006 for your own safety
The Ford Escape 2008
You could say that Ford got lucky for a couple of years, but then 2008 happened. This one was so bad that the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) forced Ford to issue at least five recalls just for this model alone.
Complaints about this model dealt primarily with Ford Escape’s unreliability. But here are some of the specific issues that many users experienced:
- Frequent brake failure
- Antilock brake system failing or braking
- Unnaturally squeaky tires
- Ball joints that were already worn out
- Jarring sensations from the shocks and struts
- Unexplained vibrating
- Faults in the electrical components
However, the most common issue with this model was the transmission. Many users experienced transmission failure far earlier than you would expect to experience it. Transmission is very costly to fix or replace, so this won’t be a quick and easy mechanic visit.
While this year of the Escape may not put your life in peril, you should still avoid it all the same. Transmissions can cost several thousand dollars just for a replacement. You are better off investing that money in a new vehicle that does not have known problems.
The Ford Escape 2009
It’s impossible to say why the Escape lineup in particular has had so many problems. All vehicle models experience some degree of recall, but the Escape has had multiple full recalls on several occasions. For 2009, there were a total of three. Here are some of the issues that users have reported consistently:
- Strange noises that seem to originate from the engine
- Poor fit and finish for the interior of the vehicle
- Leaks in the roof with water and air
- Axle bushing failure well before the typical failure time window
Again, this Ford will not cause you to drive yourself into a ditch like some previous models. However, these issues persist even after authorized fixes at Ford dealers.
Because of these issues and these recalls, you might be able to find a very low Ford escape cost. However, you would be shooting yourself in the foot if you pulled the trigger. Invest your money instead into a more reliable model.
Find Good Ford Escape used Models
Ford is an American brand with a high level of reliability, except for some of the Ford Escape years mentioned above. These are vehicles that could put your life in danger if you attempt to drive them normally. If not, they will drain your bank account after a visit to authorized Ford dealers for repairs.